Showing posts with label Jennifer Stanley. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jennifer Stanley. Show all posts

Friday, July 18, 2014

Celebration Cheesecake!

by Sheila Connolly

Wow, time flies when you’re having fun! And clearly we here at Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen think cooking and sharing the results are fun, because we’ve been doing it for five years now.

To celebrate this milestone, this week and next we’re holding a contest: you can win one of five great MLK tote bags filled with copies of each of our books. All you need to do is to take a picture of one of our books in a fun setting—and there are five categories to choose from, and you can enter one photo in each! To enter, click HERE or go to our FaceBook page

But wait! There’s more! All this week each of us will be giving away one of our own books, and next week we’ll be giving away books from our blog alumnae. Just leave a comment on our post and tell us how you shared our contest or our anniversary news. You can enter each day, for each new post—that’s a total of twelve chances to win! Don’t forget to include your email address in your comment so we can find you.

I’m happy to offer a signed copy of the NYT bestselling Golden Malicious, the most recent Orchard Mystery (which just happens to take place during a hot summer).  Better read it soon: the next one in the series, Picked to Die, comes out this October! (If you already have this one, you can choose something else.)

So, readers, please spread the word about our MLK celebration, enter our contests, and continue to visit the blog and comment on our recipes.

Oh, right: I’m supposed to give you a new recipe today!

As you may have noticed this week, “celebrate” usually means dessert to us—and what a wonderful range we’ve found! Something for everyone—either seasonal fruit or chocolate. Or both, as in this recipe, which I shamelessly borrowed from a long-time friend (who also likes desserts!).

Raspberry Cheesecake


1-1/2 cups finely crushed Oreos
1/4 cup melted butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Grease the bottom of a 9” spring-form pan.

Mix the two ingredients and press into the bottom of the pan.

Bake for seven minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees.

Berry filling and topping:

1-1/4 cup sugar
3 Tblsp cornstarch
1-1/2 cups ripe raspberries (you may use frozen, 
   and you may combine berries or add cranberries)
¾ cup cran-raspberry juice

In a saucepan, mix the sugar and the cornstarch. Add the berries and juice and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens. Put through a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Strain through a sieve or colander to remove any skins and seeds.

Cheesecake filling:

4 8-oz. packages of cream cheese (room temperature)
1 cup sugar (taste your berry mixture first—you can
   cut down the sugar if the berries are sweet)
4 eggs
½ cup heavy cream

Beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until just blended. Stir in the heavy cream.

Pour half of the filling mixture on top of the baked crust. Carefully spoon half of the sauce over the filling. CAREFULLY spoon the rest of the filling over the fruit mixture in the pan (oh, all right, if it gets mixed up, it’ll still taste good!).  Set aside the rest of the berry mixture.

Place a shallow pan half full of hot water on the lower oven rack (this is to humidify your oven). Put the cheesecake pan on a rack above this.

Bake for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours, until the edge of the cheesecake is set at least two inches from the edge of the pan. The center should still be jiggly.

Run a small metal spatula around the top edge of the pan to loosen the cheesecake and put it back in the oven. Turn the oven off and open the oven door a few inches. Let the cheesecake cool gradually in the oven, about half an hour (this should keep it from cracking).

Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a rack for another 30 minutes. Then place the cheesecake in the fridge and cool for at least six hours before serving (overnight is fine).

When you’re ready to serve, remove the outer ring of the spring-form pan, place the cheesecake on a serving plate, and spoon the remaining berry mixture over the top.

This week we’re also touching base with our alumnae, to see how they’ve kept busy since they “graduated”. Jennifer Stanley has more mystery series to her credit than I can count on one hand: the Hope Street Church Mysteries (under her own name), The Collectibles Mysteries (as J. B. Stanley), the Supper Club Mysteries (also as J. B. Stanley); and as Ellery Adams, the Books by the Bay Mysteries, the Charmed Pie Shoppe Mysteries, and the new Book Retreat Mysteries—the first book, Murder in the Mystery Suite, is coming out next month!

Here’s what Jennifer Stanley says about it:
“Murder in the Mystery Suite is set at a resort for book lovers and will feature daily afternoon teas in the Agatha Christie Tea Room, decadent meals in the Madame Bovary Dining Room, and sandwiches in the Kipling Cafe. As usual, I'll be doing my best to come up with tempting food descriptions (as well as a few dead bodies).”

Jenn would be happy if you contacted her at to
get her thoughts on MLK and tell her about your favorite recipe. Here’s hers:

“My favorite recipe is probably my charmed pecan chocolate bourbon pie because it's so easy to make and the recipe produces two pies, so there's one for you and one for a friend. The recipe reminds me of MLK because it's basically a group of friends sharing recipes with other friends.”

Please come celebrate with us and enter our contests! You can see the entries HERE at the bottom of the page. 

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Hope Street Mysteries

We are thrilled that Jennifer Stanley is joining us today! Jennifer is known for her delightful Supper Club Mysteries, and this month, she's launching a new series called Hope Street Mysteries. Check out her website at for more information on this series …where good folks study The Good Book, but everyone loves a good mystery!

Publisher's Weekly says "Stanley's faith-based crime detection has plenty of charming appeal.”

Even better, Jennifer is giving away a signed copy of her new book, Stirring Up Strife, to one lucky person who leaves a comment today!


When I joined my first Bible Study two years ago I expected to read a lot of Scripture and do a great deal of soul-searching. I had no idea I would also encounter the most amazing baked goods on heaven or earth!

No one can bake like a church lady. Sorry, but Emeril and Rachael Ray have nothin’ on a bunch of women who’ve been baking cookies, breads, coffee cakes, sausage spirals, casseroles, and pastries since I was in diapers.

That’s why baked goods feature so prominently in Stirring Up Strife, the first of the Hope Street Church Mysteries. The main character, Cooper Lee, lives with her parents. Her mother, Magnolia Lee, bakes gourmet cookies for a living so I spent weeks baking and testing recipes. (No worries - I only gained five pounds)! The three best are featured at the end of the book.

In fact, each of the Hope Street Books will contain three recipes, but I plan to post more on my website throughout the year. (See HYPERLINK "" for recipes from the Hope Street Books and the Supper Club mysteries).

Publisher’s Weekly can do a better job telling you about Stirring Up Strife, so I’ll leave it to them:
“The lighthearted first Hope Street Church mystery introduces 32-year-old Cooper Lee as she grapples with the end of a five-year romance. Despite the best efforts of her loving sister and grandmother, the Richmond, Va., office machine technician can't muster the enthusiasm to move on. When a client, Brooke Hughes, invites Cooper to attend a service at her church, Cooper decides it's a good opportunity to mingle with a new crowd. On her first visit to the imposing church, Cooper is welcomed into the Sunday morning Sunrise Bible Study group and learns that Brooke has been murdered and the police are holding her husband as the prime suspect. The Sunrise members believe him innocent and sweep up Cooper in pursuit of the real killer. Stanley's faith-based crime detection has plenty of charming appeal.”
Now I’d love to ask you a question: What is your absolute favorite baked good? Anyone who posts a comment will be entered to win a signed copy of Stirring Up Strife!

Good luck and thank you for letting me stop by today! Here’s a cookie recipe to cure the winter blues:

Magnolia’s Marvels: Comfort Cookies

1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) softened unsalted butter
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup sweet & tart dried cherries (Maggie uses Sunsweet)
3 cups oatmeal, quick cook or old fashioned

Preheat over to 350 degrees. In medium bowl, mix flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Set aside. In large bowl, cream sugars, butter, eggs, and vanilla. Gently stir in flour mixture and then stir in dried fruit. When well mixed, stir in oatmeal.
Drop by the tablespoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for approximately 10 minutes. Cool 2 minutes on sheet before placing on racks.